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Multi-Generational Housing Patterns – 2009 Skip to content

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Multi-Generational Housing Patterns – 2009


As the U.S. experiences an age shift in the coming decades, the need for a change in housing options and arrangements for aging older adults will be essential. This AARP and International Communications Research, Inc., (ICR) research study was conducted to examine the housing patterns of American adults 18 and older. The respondents were asked who they live with, how likely they would need to move in with another family member or friend (or have them move in), and how comfortable they would be living with additional friends or family members if that would become necessary.

Key Points

The report is based on a study of 1,002 individuals from five age groups ranging from age 18 to 65 and older. The study showcased the reasons that an individual would need to move in with a family member or friend, with the most likely reasons being change in income, change of job status, or change of health status.

Other key report factors include:

  1. Housing patterns were reflective of age. For the older populations (45-54 and 65+), respondents were most likely to live with their spouse or partner, followed by children more than 18 years of age.
  2. Eighty-two percent of respondents thought it was not very likely or not at all likely that they would need to move in with another family member or friend, or that those individuals may need to move in with them. Age was not a factor in this likelihood.
  3. Comfort level of living with additional friends or family members was fairly diverse among age groups; however, older adults were more likely to say they would not be very comfortable or not at all comfortable.

How to Use

The report examines current housing patterns and attitudes about living arrangements of American adults. Additionally, the report focuses on the concept of aging in place by asking the respondents about the likelihood of moving in with family members or friends and assessing their comfort level with such a living arrangement. Local community leaders, officials, and planners can use the data collected in this report to understand the perspectives of older adults and plan for an environment that fosters the idea of aging in place.

View full report: Multi-Generational Housing Patterns – 2009 (PDF – 372 KB)

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